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Old 04.08.2010, 11:57
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Importing a car from the UK - have I done enough?!

Hi,

I know there are lots of really good threads on this subject, but I would really like some clarity and a specific question which I cant seem to clear up...

I drove over our Ford S-Max about 6 weeks ago, obtaining a for 18 44 via our removal company (all signed etc at Basel).

I have obtained insurance through one of the few companies who would insure a UK registered car (Zurich Connect, who were very good and efficient, though not cheap...)

My question is that if I intend on keeping the car here for less than 12 months, do I need to go to customs and obtain a form 13 20 and have all the alterations made to lights etc and pay the import tax (would be due as we had owned the car for less than 6 months when we entered) etc, or have I done enough in obtaining a form 18 44 and having insurance?

Help! The last thing I want is to engage the wrath of the uber efficient Swiss customs people....

Thanks

Andrew
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Old 04.08.2010, 12:33
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Re: Importing a car from the UK - have I done enough?!

Firstly welecome to the forum!

You can drive the UK car on UK plates for a maximum of 12 months, if you return to the UK within 12 months, why would you be paying import tax? You aren't importing the car!!

Since the car isn't imported, why do you need to chage the lights. Some carefully place sticky tape will help you not dazzle oncoming drivers! A local garage can help you do this.
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Old 04.08.2010, 12:40
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Re: Importing a car from the UK - have I done enough?!

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I have obtained insurance through one of the few companies who would insure a UK registered car (Zurich Connect, who were very good and efficient, though not cheap...)
How not cheap? I want to bring my SAAB over later this year but I've already driven it half to death and it will probably be touching 200k miles by the time 12 months is up (not bad in 5 years!). I intend to insure it for a year and then take it back to the UK and pretty much give it away since it will not be worth putting through the import process.
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Old 04.08.2010, 12:58
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Re: Importing a car from the UK - have I done enough?!

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How not cheap? I want to bring my SAAB over later this year but I've already driven it half to death and it will probably be touching 200k miles by the time 12 months is up (not bad in 5 years!). I intend to insure it for a year and then take it back to the UK and pretty much give it away since it will not be worth putting through the import process.

your uk insurance will cover you 3rd party here, and depending on your insurance company you can just keep getting green cards for the year if you want fully comp.
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Old 04.08.2010, 13:12
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Re: Importing a car from the UK - have I done enough?!

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How not cheap? I want to bring my SAAB over later this year but I've already driven it half to death and it will probably be touching 200k miles by the time 12 months is up (not bad in 5 years!). I intend to insure it for a year and then take it back to the UK and pretty much give it away since it will not be worth putting through the import process.
We just insured a '93 Volvo estate with a street value that might just possibly be stretched to 2000chf; "basic" insurance (3rdPF&T) came in at a cost of just under 1000chf p.a.

Changing the lights is compulsory; "The legal requirement is to ‘not dazzle oncoming drivers’ rather than specifically to adjust/convert the headlamp beam pattern." unquote. Depending on the lamps, it may be that change of bulbs to local version and a tweak of the adjusters will sort it out.

Another couple of bijou informationettes:
  • Don't forget the GB sticker ("Gee Toto, I've a feeling we're not in the EU any more...")
  • in CH, the warning triangle must be "easily accessible", i.e. not under a pile of junk somewhere in the boot!
  • As I myself only discovered a couple of weeks ago, carrying a reflective jacket is de rigour in Austria, Italy and France (amongst others)
HTH
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Old 04.08.2010, 13:18
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Re: Importing a car from the UK - have I done enough?!

Thanks guys. I drove through France last year so fortunately have the triangle, high vis etc ready to roll.

Managed to convince my manager last year that GB drivers had to wear the high vis jacket at all times while driving in France.
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Old 04.08.2010, 13:31
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Re: Importing a car from the UK - have I done enough?!

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your uk insurance will cover you 3rd party here, and depending on your insurance company you can just keep getting green cards for the year if you want fully comp.
You sure about all that?

IIRC, the Green Card is a statement that one's motor insurance meets the minimum insurance requirements for the country in which it is presented, and has nothing at all to do with fully comp.

And again IIRC, the green card is no longer required; the original Insurance Certificate being sufficient at least for EU, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

>> Yup, memory still works... might just want to print this off and carry with insurance docs

Attachment 17571

Last edited by weejeem; 14.10.2011 at 16:03.
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Old 04.08.2010, 13:32
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Re: Importing a car from the UK - have I done enough?!

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your uk insurance will cover you 3rd party here, and depending on your insurance company you can just keep getting green cards for the year if you want fully comp.
No you can't, not legally.

If you think your are fully comp doing that and have an accident you may find they refuse to pay out. A Green card is for "visiting" a country. If you live in that country it won't necessarily be valid.

UK insurers don't like people going abroad for long periods. Although Swiss insurers don't care - and will happily insure you for the year.

I specifically asked these questions when I bought over my car to ensure that everything was covered. They even told me that the 3rd party insurance would be invalidated once I was living abroad.

I urge anyone who is thinking of trying to circumnavigate insurance/import rules to be very very careful. If something goes wrong you may find yourself in a very difficult position.
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Old 04.08.2010, 13:50
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Re: Importing a car from the UK - have I done enough?!

What Ken said, plus it is standard in most UK insurance policies that if you are a non UK resident the insurance is invalid anyway.

I also spent a lot of time looking into insurance for over here, and like Ken said you will soon come unstuck if you need to make a claim.

There is one UK company, underwritten by AXA (can't go to them direct tho) who do issue 12 month green cards for euro cover: http://www.stuartcollins.com/

In the end I got Swiss insurance through a contact at Zurich who could arrange cover for UK plated car over here.
I would have used the UK company but they would not insure my car for anyone less than 30yrs old on that policy!
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